Review: “The Crown”

Yves Nguyen, Staff Writer

“The Crown” is beautifully made, and I would hope so, since it is the most expensive series ever produced costing a record-breaking $130 million. The arrival of the new royal drama “The Crown,” created by Peter Morgan of “Frost/Nixon” and “The Queen” fame, has been long-awaited. This venture has certainly paid off and done so in royal style.

“The Crown” chronicles the journey of a young and newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II, played by Claire Foy, as she attempts to adjust and conquer her new life as a Queen to the people and wife to Prince Philip, played by Matt Smith. “The Crown” beautifully follows the younger years of one of the longest and most private royals in history, giving watchers a look into lives otherwise unknown and left up to curiosity.

The musical scores and soundtrack really make this series a standout in 2016. From the first second of the first episode, “The Crown” title sequence is one of the most mesmerizing aspects of the series. Netflix possesses a skill for creating intriguing title sequences that draw watchers in, and this historical drama is no different. Backing the title sequence is a deep and captivating score composed by Hans Zimmer, the music producer for the series. The series’ score is composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, known for deep scores in “The Legend of Tarzan” and “Hotel Rwanda,” and provides an incredibility moving backdrop in moments of emotional intensity.

While the musical scores provide more emotion and captivation, the set and design are where this series really shines, putting the budget of the series in full view. The costumes, designs and sets of Buckingham Palace and a trip to Africa really show where the money went. The intricate costumes, particularly during the wedding between Elizabeth and Phillip, are absolutely beautiful and add a timely touch. Not only is the set breathtaking in every scene, but also it features vintage props from the time period, adding to the authenticity of the series.

The set, costumes and music may be absolutely awe-inspiring, but a good series cannot be a good series without an exceptional cast. The performances from each and every cast member are mesmerizing. Standout performances include Claire Foy’s emotive and nuanced performance as Queen Elizabeth II that humanized the rather private Queen, and Matt Smith as Prince Philip, a conflicted husband who struggles with being in the shadow of his wife. Matt Smith particularly shines in moments of drunken, appalling behavior. Although he is the only American on the cast, the most incredible performance comes from John Lithgow as an eccentric Sir Winston Churchill.

“The Crown” is critically acclaimed and extremely popular, so tune in before you get behind on this series that is set to last for six seasons.